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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Gene drives

Move over, autonomous AI weapons, there’s a new risk in town: ‘gene drives’
August 6, 2015

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito — a known malarial vector — obtains a blood meal from a human host in this photo.  Wyss Institute scientists believe that synthetic gene drives, if researched further with great prudence and responsibility to avoid unintended ecological impacts, could potentially be used in the future to render mosquito populations unable to transmit malaria. (credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) 
Unanimous international consensus reached by 26 scientists for conducting gene-drive research responsibly
An international group of 26 experts, including prominent genetic engineers and fruit fly geneticists, has unanimously recommended a series of preemptive measures to safeguard gene drive research from accidental (or intentional) release from laboratories. RNA-guided gene drives are genetic elements — found naturally in the genomes of most of the world’s organisms — that increase …more…

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